Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What did Jesus accomplish with his death on the cross? There are three answers to that question.
He overcame the power of the devil, sin, and death. Because of original sin, the judgment that God pronounced against Adam and Eve, we are, from our conception in the womb of our mothers, rebels and enemies of God. The sentence is death, not just physical death, also eternal death. Therefore, we do not have an answer to the devil when he commands us to live for our carnal desires. Why not, since we cannot justify ourselves in the eyes of God? Our only hope is to hold on to the good things in this world, whether they be sensual pleasures or material goods without regard for the rights and needs of our neighbor. This is the will of the devil, and because of that, we are slaves to sin and the devil. However, in Christ, we are free to live according to God's will, as his children. Now, God is not an angry Judge, but our heavenly Father.
He showed us the depth of God's love for us. The Son of God came down to heaven for us, even when we still were enemies of God, to be humble and poor, and he suffered the injustice of this world. He is our example to endure the trials of this world and take care of others, even those who have done nothing for us and have tried to do us wrong.
But, above all, “Certainly he bore our infirmities, and suffered our pains; and we considered him to be whipped, wounded by God, and beaten down. But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our sins; the punishment of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. " Almighty God the Father is merciful and he does not want the downfall of anyone. He is also just, he is the source of justice. His justice must be satisfied. Through the cross, Jesus struck a balance between justice and mercy. He accepted the punishment for our sins in our places. Because He died, we can live.
Jesus was the lamb slain once for all forever, but also the high priest. He went to the cross of his own free will. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, but in truth, Pilate did not have the power. An official in an empire that fell centuries ago, the name of Pontius Pilate is known today only from the creed in which we confess our faith in the King of kings.
This Sunday we will celebrate the victory of Jesus Christ, but tonight we contemplate the magnitude of his sacrifice.
In the peace that passes all understanding, let us pray to the Lord. Amen.
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